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Trucker Charged With Vehicular Homicide, Assault In Fatal NJ Turnpike Crash

Stefan (Stephen) Shipinkoski
Stefan (Stephen) Shipinkoski Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

A chain-reaction crash on the NJ Turnpike in Ridgefield that claimed the life of a Long Island man was caused by a Seattle truck driver, said State Police who charged him vehicular homicide.

Stefan (Stephen) Shipinkoski, 22, remained held Thursday in the Bergen County Jail on death-by-auto and assault-by-auto charges following his arrest Wednesday.

Shipinkoski was driving a Freightliner box truck that rear-ended a Nissan Altima, igniting the chain-reaction crash on the Turnpike’s southbound western spur just after 2 p.m. Saturday, NJ State Police Trooper Alejandro Goez said.

Luis Choez-Padilla, 55, who was in the back seat of the Altima, was killed, Goez said.

The Altima’s 28-year-old driver and 51-year-old front-seat passenger – who, like Choez-Padilla, are from the Suffolk County town of Brentwood -- sustained minor injuries, he said.

The Altima, after being hit by the truck, struck a Toyota Highlander, which in turn hit a Honda CRV, Goez said.

No one in any of those vehicles, including Shipinkoski, was injured, the trooper said.

ALSO SEE: Long Island Man, 55, Killed In NJ Turnpike Crash

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